Literacy pilot programme launched

Two Tobago primary schools received new computers that will boost the development of their students.

Scarborough Methodist Primary School and Hope Anglican Primary School got a combined 60 Google Chromebooks on Friday (January 26). The computers are equipped with literacy development software programmes, MyOn and MindPlay.

The initiative was launched by the Division of Education, Innovation and Energy (DEIE) at the Division’s Conference Room at Dutch Fort Plaza.

At the launch was Secretary of Education, Innovation and Energy Kelvin Charles, the Chief Secretary, along with the Division’s Assistant Secretary Marisha Osmond, DEIE Administrator Jacqueline Job, programme facilitator Dr. Victor Wheeler and Secretary of Health, Wellness and Family Development Dr. Agatha Carrington.

The programmes provide refined, systematic reading instruction and allow for a personalised reading environment. Together, the programmes will help students develop reading confidence and fluency and fill literacy skill gaps.

The computers were donated by Dr. Brian Yearwood, a Tobagonian living in the U.S. and a former Scarborough Methodist Primary student, as part of a pilot education development initiative. Dr. Yearwood is superintendent at Texas Tech University.

According to Dr. Yearwood, he collaborated with Dr. Wheeler to research the educational needs of students in Tobago. It was determined through this research that technology can aid students significantly in overcoming learning challenges.

“The programme is highly diagnostic, and the expectation is that any child who gets into the programme after 40 hours, is expected to see a year’s worth of growth in their literacy,” Dr. Yearwood said via teleconferencing.

Charles said he is thankful to Dr. Yearwood and his team for driving the initiative. He said the project complements the Division’s efforts to improve the rate of literacy in the island’s primary schools.

The Education Secretary pledged his support for initiatives that will help improve the quality of teaching and learning in the schools.

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